State Dance Company

Learn, perform and grow with a nationally recognized modern dance company. As a member of the State Dance Company, one of the two academic dance companies of NC State University, you’ll perform the choreography of the artistic director and annual guest artists. Founded in 1987, the company has worked with such choreographers as Monica Bill Barnes, Gerri Houlihan, Tracey Durbin, among others.

Learn about auditions for the State Dance Company.

When do you rehearse?

Rehearsals are Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons, Tuesday evenings, and some Saturdays.

When do you perform?

The company performs in the Fall Concert at NC State, presents an annual spring concert at NC State, and attends and performs at the American College Dance Association Conferences (or another conference/workshop). We also perform at many other venues throughout the year.  Plan on attending the next State Dance Company performance.

How many academic credits do members receive?

Students receive two credit hours per semester for participation.

Meet the State Dance Company Members

Lindsay Caslinis a senior from Winston Salem, NC majoring in Graphic Design with a minor in Computer Programming. She’s been dancing since three years old and has trained in primarily jazz, tap, and contemporary. She has competed at the national level in high school and on NCSU’s dance team.
Savanah Buck is a freshman from New Bern, North Carolina, majoring in biochemistry. She began her dance training at three years old and started competing at eleven years old. She has been a member of the performance company at Carolina Dance Alliance for 6 years. There, she has trained in a multitude of styles including, ballet, contemporary, jazz, modern, tap, hip hop, musical theatre, and even ballroom. She has also taken from various instructors at conventions across the country and several guest choreographers. Her favorite style of dance is jazz, and she can’t wait to continue her dance journey with the State Dance Company.
Layla El-Khoury is a graduate student from Wake Forest, NC working on her M.S. in biological engineering with a water resources minor. She received her B.S. in biological engineering with an environmental concentration from NC State. She has been dancing since she was three years old, training mainly in ballet and modern. In 2018, she joined the faculty at The Raleigh School of Ballet and in July 2021 became the Administrative and Artistic Coordinator for Raleigh Dance Theatre. Layla is excited to step back into the role of a dancer and be part of the State Dance Company!
Ariana Fajerman is a sophomore from Davidson, North Carolina, majoring in education and psychology. She began her dance training at the age of three, and she started competing at the age of 5. She spent the majority of her time training with Lake Norman Dance Gallery. She has competed in a wide range of genres including lyrical, jazz, tap, contemporary, hip hop, and acro. She has traveled for years to compete and even traveled to DolbyTheatre in Hollywood. Dance has always been a major part of her life, and she cannot wait to continue dancing with the State Dance Company.
Caroline Foy is a junior from Goldsboro, North Carolina. She began her dance training at Artistic Dance Academy when she was four years old. She trained in ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, hip hop, pointe, and modern. Her favorite style is contemporary. She is very excited to continue dancing and to be a part of the company.
Delaney Galvin is a fourth-year majoring in english and she is so excited to be in the company again this year. She began her dance training as a high school freshman and has trained in almost all styles, but enjoys modern and contemporary dance the most.
Athena He-DeMontaron is a junior majoring in animal science with a minor in Chinese Studies. She has been dancing since 2005, beginning with Chinese Traditional dance and ballet. Athena has been trained in a variety of dance styles since then including contemporary, jazz, hip-hop, modern and pointe. Later, she began training in aerial and circus arts as well as figure skating.
Kellsie Jennings is a sophomore from Fuquay Varina, NC. This is her first year in the company. She is majoring in applied mathematics, with an intended concentration in financial math and a minor in economics and statistics. Kellsie started dancing competitively 7 years ago, mainly focusing on tap, jazz, and contemporary. She is so excited to be a part of the State Dance Company!
Madison Kotyra is a sophomore from Rochester, NY majoring in Polymer and Color Chemistry. She began dancing when she was four years old at Fitzsimmons Dance Factory. She is trained in many different styles but she favors tap, hip hop, and modern. Throughout her years at Fitzsimmons she has trained as a student as well as taught younger dancers.
Rachel Morris is a sophomore from Chapel Hill, NC, planning to major in Biomedical Engineering. She has been dancing for thirteen years at To The Pointe Dance and Arts Academy in Hillsborough, NC, where she has trained and competed in many styles including ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, pointe, and modern. She attended the Joffrey South Jazz/Contemporary Summer Intensive in 2018.
Kara Pawlowski is a freshman from Denver, NC. This is her first year with the State Dance Company, she is majoring in chemistry and intends to add a second major in mathematics. She trained with Expressions Dance Company, competing in various styles with a preference for contemporary. She is excited to continue her dance career with the State Dance Company! 
Alexa Simeonsson is a junior from Chapel Hill, currently majoring in computer science. She began dancing in seventh grade and continued her training throughout high school focusing on contemporary and ballet. She attended Governor’s School West for dance in 2018.
Tiana Smith is a sophomore from Raleigh, NC majoring in biomedical engineering and chemistry. She has been dancing for 11 years. Her roots in dance stem from church praise dance ministry and evolved to a local studio in Warner Robins, Georgia. She has trained in ballet, contemporary, jazz, modern, lyrical, and tap. Modern is her passion. During the last two years of high school, she had the privilege of competing with her studio’s competition team. Being a new member of the company is humbling and honorable. She is excited about growing and learning with the State Dance Company.
LilyGrace Wolfe (she/her) is a senior majoring in Communication Media and minoring in Art Studies and English. She began training in ballet and later competed in various styles. She attended UNCSA performing arts intensives as well as Cassey Noblet’s Commercial Dance Intensive. Her on-campus involvement includes being a student assistant for New Student Programs, the director of communications for Student Government, and an NC State Dance Program Student Ambassador. She wants to thank the Dance Program faculty and dancers for four years of precious opportunities and memories! Lastly, LilyGrace thanks her friends and family for always supporting her, watching every concert (live and virtual), and even learning a thing or two about interpreting modern dance!
Sydney Zimmerman is a junior from New Jersey, double majoring in Environmental Science and Biology. She began her dance training when she was two years old. She has studied and competed in many styles including ballet, jazz, contemporary, modern, tap, and musical theatre. She is so excited to continue her training and be a part of the company!
See these students perform at the upcoming concert